Life Plus Homeschool

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We started homeschooling 12 days ago. I know it has been 12 days because of our handy calendar system (which the kids love, by the way). It’s interesting to see how much my “style” of homeschooling has evolved in even this short amount of time. When I went into this, I thought I’d be regimented. I had my days planned out in a spreadsheet in 15 minute increments, just like they do in school. I wanted to make sure that I was spending enough time per subject per day.

I realized something a little while back though, my kids don’t need 45 minutes for math. They don’t need 30 minutes for writing. The blocks of time that one has in a school are there to accomidate kids that learn at different paces, they’re there so that the teacher can address every student as they are doing their task. When you’re one on one, or one on two as it were, things move much more quickly.

The county that we live in suggests that you spend 6 hours a day on school. 6 hours?! I suppose they don’t account for other things that happen in a school environment like recess, lunch and PE.

My kids actually spend about three hours a day “doing school”. They do their every day subjects like Math and English first thing in the morning, from 7 until about 8:30 or 9. They do their every other day subject when the toddler naps at 10:00 because that’s either History or Science, both of which are more involved with large projects or lengthy explanations.

Their afternoons are spent playing, building with Legos or doing their extracurricular activities like taekwondo and dance (which also count for PE!). They go grocery shopping with me and bake with me and tromp around outside in the woods. The other day my oldest child made and buried a time capsule for “future archeologists” completely on his own. It wasn’t part of the curriculum, it wasn’t in the lesson plan. He just did it.

So far I’m really enjoying this. We’re more relaxed as a family. The boys still fight, my oldest still has to lock himself in his room sometimes just so that he can have his alone time but the pace of life seems more natural than it ever did when we were rushing out the door at 8:15 every morning to make the 8:45 school bell.

More activities begin in September like co-op and cub scouts, it will be interesting to see how things shift when that happens but so far the kids are doing well, I feel less stressed out and our house is slightly more harmonious than it was before. I count that as a win.